Tracking technologies show promise

Patient safety experts convened in San Francisco, where some of the latest technologies were on view. While the now-controversial growth of CPOE was a hot topic of discussion, it does appear as though patient and equipment tracking is a problem which has found a solution. Christiana Care Health System in Delaware has totally "tagged" its staff, equipment and patients in its ER. As a result, there has been a huge improvement in productivity as well as staff satisfaction and lowered turnover rates.

Christiana Care is using an infra-red system from Patient Care Technology Systems, but infra-red is facing competition from active RFID and WiFi-based location systems. Penetration of tracking is currently low, but the price point for system installation is low enough that the cost can be justified in better equipment availability (i.e., hospitals can spend less money buying and renting pumps, monitors and other mobile equipment). I'll discuss more about the technologies and players in tracking in next week's FierceHealthcare.

- see this release from Patient Care Technology Systems